Better Together | August 2017

August 2017 View more

Ofelia Guevara and Josue Vazquez

Though Ofelia Guevara, 31, and Josue Vazquez, 30, met close to home, their love for travel has taken them far and away.

Both Joliet residents, they met in art class as sophomores at Joliet Central High School, but didn’t start dating until their senior year. Over the next decade of dating, they often planned trips for New Year’s Eve, celebrating in destinations such as Miami and Puerto Rico. It was during a holiday trip to New Orleans in 2015 that Vazquez, a ramp supervisor with Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad Co. in Elwood, proposed to Guevara, a hairstylist at C’zar Salon Spa in Bolingbrook.

Both of their families are of Mexican heritage, so the couple had a traditional Mexican ceremony at St. Joseph’s Church in Joliet, where they exchanged coins (called arras) and were draped with a rosary called a lasso. “It was one of my mom’s favorite churches and I remember going there as a little girl,” Guevara says. Next, they joined their 150 guests at Emerson Creek Pottery and Tea Room in Oswego, an idyllic venue surrounded by prairie and cornfields.

“We wanted as Mexican of a wedding as possible,” Vazquez says, and from the mariachi band to the churro-flavored wedding cake, they truly delivered. “We wanted to stick to our roots,” Guevara says.

Emerson Creek’s barn was decorated with rustic details, such as delicate white papel picado banners and baby’s breath tucked into clay cups that the couple purchased in Mexico. The adjacent wedding tent was pure vintage elegance, from the gold vases and lanterns to the dark floral arrangements studded with plum blooms, feathery greenery and succulents. For their sweetheart table, they rented a tufted vintage loveseat that made for myriad photo ops.

Vazquez and Guevara skipped a honeymoon since they had both traveled to New Orleans for their bachelor and bachelorette parties, but hope to plan their next adventure abroad soon, perhaps to Cuba or Thailand.

Photography Joy Lyn Photography, Yorkville
Bride’s dress Justin Alexander from Wolsfelt’s Bridal, Montgomery
Bride’s accessories Manolo Blahnik blue satin jeweled pumps from Nordstrom
Bridesmaid’s dresses AtomAttire on Etsy
Hair Rachel Brooker of C’zar Salon, Bolingbrook
Makeup Sophie Mucha
Invitations Handmade by a close friend
Groom’s and groomsmen’s attire Michael Kors from Black Tie Formalwear, Joliet
Catering My Chef Catering, Naperville
Cake The Sugar Path Bakery, Geneva
Music Mariachi Ameca, Cicero; DJ Juan “Too Big” Perez, Chicago
Decor Joanna Goss Design, Aurora; Pearl & Vintage Rentals, Homer Glen
Florist Petal Play Design, Lemont
Rings Helzberg Diamonds, Joliet (hers); Cartier, Chicago (his)
Transportation M&M Limousine, Chicago

Grace Thomas and Kyle Wood

2016 was quite the year for high school sweethearts and loyal Cubs fans Kyle Wood and Grace Thomas, both 25. Not only did season ticket holder Wood get to watch the Cubbies win the World Series, but he surprised Thomas by proposing on the field at Wrigley.

Wood moonlights as a Wrigley Field tour guide on weekends and proposed to Thomas while taking both their families on a tour of the field. Thomas and Wood both work in downtown Chicago—she as a campus recruiter for PwC and he as an investor relations analyst for Elementum Advisors—and they grew up in Wheaton and Naperville, respectively. The two met and started dating at St. Francis High School in Wheaton.

With the Wood family’s deep roots in Naperville—the groom’s mother Katie Wood is Downtown Naperville Alliance’s executive director—there was no question where they’d say their vows. They were married at St. Raphael in Naperville, where Wood and his brothers went to parochial school, by the beloved priest Father Ted Weitzel. Asking family members to perform readings and choosing contemporary songs to complement traditional hymns—Thomas walked down the aisle to a piano and violin arrangement of Christina Perri’s “A Thousand Years”—was one of their favorite parts of planning the ceremony.

As for planning their reception, they knew one thing: It would be big. “Kyle’s mom Katie is the youngest of ten siblings and my family is not small,” Thomas says. They dined and danced with 330 friends and family members at Butterfield Country Club in Oak Brook. “It’s a gorgeous property, very classic, which is very much our style,” Thomas says. “We knew we would look back in fifty years and think it was still a beautiful place to get married.” They opted for a timeless, neutral color scheme—think blush flowers, silver mercury glass decor and navy tuxes for the groomsmen—but the Cubby red and blue came out when Thomas surprised Wood with an epic Chicago Cubs–themed groom’s cake. “Our photographer was a blast, so he was out there dancing with us and the dance floor was packed the whole time,” Thomas says.

The couple honeymooned in Hawaii, where they snorkeled and paddleboarded in Maui and took a helicopter tour of Kawaii. They now live in Chicago’s Fulton Market neighborhood with their newly adopted puppy, Louie.


Photography Eric Floberg Film & Photography, Chicago
Wedding planner Jaci Weber, Clementine Custom Events, Chicago
Bride’s dress Romona Keveza from Bella Bianca Bridal, Oakbrook Terrace
Bride’s accessories Badgley Mischka from; heirloom earrings from her grandmother and bracelet from her great-grandmother
Bridesmaid’s dresses Alfred Sung from Brideside, Chicago
Hair and makeup Kate Johnson Artistry, Chicago
Invitations Magnificent Milestones, Chicago
Groom’s and groomsmen’s attire Black Tie Formalwear, Chicago
Catering Late-night grilled cheese from The Cheesie’s Truck, Chicago
Cake Couples’ cake from The Sugar Path, Geneva; groom’s cake from Elysia Root Cakes, Chicago
Music Mark Rankin with DJ-Chicago, Chicago
Decor Hall’s Rental, Niles; BBK Linen, Skokie; lighting by MDM Entertainment, Schaumburg
Florist Floral Wonders, Geneva
Rings Rahmanim’s Imports, Chicago
Transportation M&M Limousine, Des Plaines/Chicago; Naperville Trolley